Japanese-Style Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Lynn Dine


This is a recipe I am posting for the Japan region of our Culinary Quest. It is a recipe from "The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat"

Note: Tobanjan is a Japanese paste of fermented soybeans and chiles. It is available in Asian markets, as is red miso.


★★★★★ 1 vote

10 Min
2 Hr
Stove Top


  • ·
    2 racks baby back ribs (about 5 to 6 pounds)
  • ·
    1 whole unpeeled bulb garlic, halved horizontally across the mid-section
  • ·
    1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
  • ·
    1 medium spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • ·
    1/2 cup tomato puree
  • ·
    1 cup sake
  • ·
    2 tbs. rice vinegar
  • ·
    1/4 cup soy sauce
  • ·
    3 tbs. sugar
  • ·
    2 tbs. red miso
  • ·
    1 tbs. tobanjan (paste of fermented soybeans and chiles)
  • ·
    1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • ·
    1 tbs. sesame seeds, for accent

How to Make Japanese-Style Barbecued Baby Back Ribs


  1. Cut each rack of baby back ribs in half, which will yield 4 portions of 5 to 6 ribs each. To a large stockpot, add the ribs, 6 cups water, garlic, onion, carrot, tomato puree, sake, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, miso, tobanjan, and peppercorns and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat so the liquid gently simmers. Remove any scum or oil that floats to the surface. Cover the pot and cook until the ribs become tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove the ribs from the pot and set aside, reserving the cooking liquid. To make the marinade, bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat and boil until it reduces by half and becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow the liquid to come to room temperature. Transfer the liquid to the jar of a blender, cover, and pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Pass the liquid through a fine-meshed strainer suspended over a large bowl and discard any solids caught in the strainer. Set the marinade aside.
  3. Preheat a grill to hot. Grill the ribs for about 4 minutes, flipping once. When the ribs are browned and sizzling, brush the marinade on top. Grill for about 2 more minutes, flipping 2 or3 times, and brushing on more marinade after each turn. Let the ribs rest for 2 minutes. Accent with sesame seed and serve.

Printable Recipe Card

About Japanese-Style Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Japanese

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